Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Books, books, books...

So, I was reading my friend Krysti's blog ( and she posted this list of books that, according to the BBC, most people have only read six of the one hundred books on this list.  I'm putting the books I've read in red. I'll put the ones that I started but didn't finish in blue and the ones that I want to read in green.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaube

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

So...that's 20 books that I've read, 8 that I've started but never finished for whatever reason, and 8 books that I want to read.  I think I need to get cracking... I really need to find a public library in this area... the reading selection at the school library stinks... it's all reference. I think we may be making a city excursion over the weekend, so we'll see how my reading goes from there.  At the moment, I'm working through The Hobbit again.  I've been wanting to re-read all of Tolkien's books... at least Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  I would like to read the Histories of Middle-Earth, too, if I ever have time.  Yay reading!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fiber for the Soul

I've heard it said that there are two types of knitters--the ones who knit for the act of knitting and the ones who knit for the end result.  Now, when I think about myself in this light, I think I tend to be a little bit of both.  To be honest, the majority of the things I knit are for myself, and they're (obviously) things that I would like to have.  I knit them for the final product.  But, I truly enjoy the proces if I like what it is that I'm knitting and the material itself that I'm knitting.  Even when I have to tear out rows upon rows of knitting--hours of my life being undone, hours that I can never get back.  I think I've found this ability to, when I'm on the verge of a very immature temper tantrum, I just put it down and walk away or I turn the video game off (I very rarely play video games, and when I do, I don't last very long.  As soon as I reach a level that is hard, I get annoyed and turn it off).  It's how I've maintained my relative outer equilibrium.

Another thing is my knitting.  You can tell that I'm stressed in some way because I've spent large amounts of time knitting, and it's usually something relatively simplistic, that I can knit fast and I have room to think.  And, to be honest, it's something that I won't mind tearing out later.  I knit the things that I don't necessarily want or need, but the simplest thing that I could possibly have any sort of interest in knitting.  Something that's enough to keep me interested, but something that I don't need to pay complete attention to.

Earlier today, I frogged a scarf I starte in the beginning of December.  I started it with the intention of making it a Christmas present.  It became my stress-reliever.  The thing I picked up when I needed a break from studying.  It was the thing I picked up when the drama of dorm life got to me.  It was the thing I picked up in the week before Christmas as I still struggled to handle the stress left over from my first semester of college.  It was the thing I picked up when my new pendant (a pretty Miraculous Medal) fell off its chain and got lost Christmas afternoon.  It kept me going for most of December as I tried to work out issues that I'd been dealing with.  And then today, I tore it all out.  I let it all go.  I got through exams; I made it through the drama of a first semester in a freshman dorm.  I made it through Christmas, and I found my Miraculous medal.  I think the knitting and the frogging of that scarf represented a psychological therapy of letting it build up and then letting it all go that's hard to replace.  Now, I'm not saying that these issues are resolved, because most if them are still very real, but I have the peace of mind that, great or small, they're just part of the fabric of life.  A perfect life is no life at all, is it?  How can you say that you've truly lived until you experience the stresses of everyday life?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Something to try

This is something that I absolutely must try sometime.  It looks like a lot of fun, to be honest . . . I just need to find access to the materials and I'll have an almost infinite supply of needles.  At least, the opportunity to have them . . .

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Year Come and Gone

Wow, so it's 2010 already.  I can't believe it.  Another year of my life come and gone.  I must say, though, it was good while it lasted.  There were a lot of big changes in my life, but it was all for the better, I think.  Here are just some major things that happened during 2009 . . .
  1. AP Comparative Government came to an end, which can be considered a good and a bad thing.  Good for our relative sanity (wait . . . were we ever sane to begin with . . .?) Unfortunately, this also brought about the end of the amazing Russia group.  We had so many inside jokes from the back of that classroom . . .
  2. AP English Class--the best class ever. Period.  We had some crazy fun times in that class . . .
  3. I got my first job- Dairy Queen for the win! Yep, that's right people, be jealous.
  4. Prom- yeah, yeah, you can say that prom is overrated, but it was really fun.
  5. Graduation- it rained the whole week before, but it was sunny and perfect graduation day.  Of course, I missed the cap-throwing because I couldn't get the thing off my head (darn bobby pins) and the tassel off fast enough, but whatever.  I made it through high school with honors and a green cord that I got to wear with my cap and gown.
  6. The constant stream of grad parties- yep, I saw everyone at least once every weekend for the next couple of weeks.  Good times, good times . . .
  7. Senior Week- since my friends and I were way too disorganized too cool to go to the beach or something of that nature for our senior week, we had a "staycation" of sorts where we camped out at a different person's house every night and did awesome things like a murder mystery party, mall scavenger hunt, and bowling.  Best senior week ever, I must say.
  8. College!- it's been good and bad; there's been drama, tears, way too much stress to even think about . . . but it was good.  This fall, I learned that I can make it on my own.  It's such a different eperience compared to high school.  I've met a lot of awesome people, and . . . a few really weird ones.
So, those were the highlights of my 2009.  And, yes, I'm aware that I'm posting this way after new year's day, but I had to think about the things I should put in the list.  Moving on, just a few new year's resolutions that I want to push myself with this year.
  1. I want to be healthier-as in eating right, exercising, etc.
  2. I want to focus on my art and writing more.  I feel like the only art that I've done recently has been for a class assignment in one form or another.  I want to do it for me this year.
I don't think they're huge in the whole realm of things, but they're things that I need to work on.  I let myself waste a lot of time (mostly on facebook, unfortunately) and hopefully working on those two resolutions will cut down on that. 

I wish everyone a belated happy new year's!